After 3 short weeks in Viet Nam, our last stop in the country was Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), all the way in the south. If I didn’t know any better, I would have thought Saigon was the capital. It’s built up, with a skyscraper or two that make for a nice city skyline. As with everywhere in Viet Nam, the streets are filled with numerous amounts of honking cars and motorbikes at all hours of the day.
Since we had already seen the tunnels at DMZ, we skipped the Cu Chi Tunnels, which are a popular attraction near Ho Chi Minh City. I would have liked to take a trip to the Mekong River, but, unfortunately, we were on a bit of a time crunch. The main thing we wanted to see was the War Museum, located within Ho Chi Minh City.
The museum was 3 floors with many large rooms, mostly lined with picture after picture of devastation. Agent Orange, herbicide, was one of the most harmful types of warfare the U.S unleashed on Viet Nam. Not only did it wipe out large numbers of the population immediately, but it effected generations to come. To this day a large portion of Vietnamese are still living with the genetic repercussions.
After exiting the museum it was hard for me to feel pride about my country and where I come from. The things we did in Viet Nam were horrific and overboard. I remember briefly learning about the Viet Nam War in School, but what I don’t remember were all the gruesome details and truths about what happened. However, this only prepared me for the tragedy I would learn about just a few days later in Cambodia.
After one last delicious street Bahn Mi, we boarded our bus (at midnight) to start our 12 hour journey into Cambodia.